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Updated: July 6th, 2014 7:44pm
Former Twin Justin Morneau among candidates for final vote in NL

Former Twin Justin Morneau among candidates for final vote in NL

by Judd Zulgad
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Justin Morneau will need the help of fans if he's going to return to Target Field as a member of the National League All-Star team.

The former Twins first baseman, who now plays for the Colorado Rockies, is one of five candidates from the NL who is part of the All-Star Game final vote. Fans will decide the 34th and final roster spots for the AL and NL rosters for the July 15 game in Minneapolis. Balloting is underway and will continue until 3 p.m. Thursday.

The NL candidates include Morneau, second baseman Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals, first baseman Anthony Rizzo of the Chicago Cubs, third baseman Casey McGehee of the Miami Marlins and left fielder Justin Upton of the Atlanta Braves.

Morneau was named to four consecutive All-Star Games from 2007 through 2010 during his time with the Twins, which lasted from 2003 until he was traded to Pittsburgh last Aug. 31.

Morneau signed with the Rockies last winter as a free agent and is hitting .314/.346/.518 with 13 home runs and 59 runs batted in. His RBI total trails only Miami's Giancarlo Stanton's 62 in the NL.

Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt will start at first base for the NL and Atlanta's Freddie Freeman was picked as a reserve.

The American League MVP in 2006, Morneau had his career sidetracked in a July 2010 game in Toronto when he suffered a concussion. Morneau battled various injuries during much of his remaining time with the Twins and did not homer in 25 games and 77 at-bats with the Pirates during the regular season last year.

He hit .292/.320/,333 with no home runs and no RBIs in 24 at-bats and six postseason games with the Pirates in 2013.

Morneau has a two-year contract with the Rockies that calls for him to make $5 million this season and $6.75 million in 2015. There is a $9 million mutual option for 2016. 

The AL choices for the final vote are all pitcher and include lefthander Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros, righthander Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians, righthander Rick Porcello of the Detroit Tigers, righthander Garrett Richards of the Los Angeles Angels and lefthander Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Judd | @1500ESPNJudd | Mackey & Judd
In this story: Justin Morneau